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Why did we hand pick Kosi Forest Lodge?

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  • Tented accommodation at the only private lodge in the beautiful Kosi Bay Nature Reserve
  • Once-in-a-lifetime turtle tracking between November and January
  • Numerous incredible water-based activities on offer in this lush tropical paradise

Kosi Forest Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

8km from Manguzi


-27.0289, 32.7871


A massive Podberry tree is the focal point of Kosi Forest Lodge, with the lounge, dining room and bar all opening onto a large, wooden deck around the tree, and the swimming pool offering respite from the warm weather in summer. The shaded bush suites are hidden within the sand forest and feature romantic open-air bathrooms set in white, sandy beach under Umdoni trees, giving guests a truly unique experience. From the luxurious comforts of the tranquil Kosi Forest Lodge, guests can explore the Kosi Bay lake ecosystem and the pristine Elephant Coast.

The best way to see the system is by boat, and a full day boat trip through various sized lakes and channels, including a walk through the famous Kosi Bay fish traps, is a must whilst staying at Kosi Forest Lodge, as is a picnic lunch and a swim in the warm sea at Bhanga Nek. Gliding along the water in a canoe through the Sihadla channel, bounded by its large Raffia Palms, is a peaceful way to explore the lakes and gives the perfect opportunity for birding. Guided walks will reveal the wonders of the surrounding raffia forest, home to abundant birdlife and the largest palm in the world.

A full day trip to Kosi Bay Mouth reveals the sea and lakes interconnecting in a swirl of colour, sand and water, and offers great snorkelling with plenty of colourful sub-tropical fish to view all year round. Enjoy swimming in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and soak up the sun along this beautiful stretch of beach, followed by a scrumptious picnic lunch. Humpback whales may be seen off the coast during their migration to calve in the warm waters off Mozambique. The reserve is very popular with anglers and offers some of the best fishing experiences on the South African coastline.

Turtle tracking, available between November and January, is a particularly special experience. Having swum the length of the continent, Giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles turtles come ashore late at night to lay their eggs on the sandy beaches within the reserve. Guests are able to view these fascinating animals lumbering up the beach and watch from a few metres away while the mother lays the eggs, expertly buries them and returns to the ocean.

Rates & Summary

8 Thatched Bush Suites

Each is raised on a deck with balcony
Inside showers included in all suites
Reed-enclosed open-air bath & shower
Roll-up canvas blinds enhance views


  • From R 2 360 pp sharing
  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


All meals included, most served alfresco


Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Owned by the prestigious Isibindi Africa group, Kosi Forest Lodge is set in a tranquil sand forest and is the perfect base from which to explore the rare Kosi Bay lake ecosystem by guided canoe, boat trips on the lake, forest walks or day excursions to the nearby coastal beaches. Kosi Forest Lodge is the only private lodge in the unspoilt Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, part of the iSimangiliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site. The 16-bed lodge offers fine cuisine and comfortable, exclusive accommodation, and caters for a host of estuarine, beach and wilderness activities, including the once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching huge turtles laying eggs on the beach.


  • Tented accommodation at the only private lodge in the beautiful Kosi Bay Nature Reserve
  • Once-in-a-lifetime turtle tracking between November and January
  • Numerous incredible water-based activities on offer in this lush tropical paradise

Things to consider Bringing

Sunscreen, sunhat, walking shoes, insect repellent, bird book, fishing gear, snorkelling equipment, binoculars for bird watching and whale spotting.

Road Conditions

The final 9km is on a sand road suitable for 4X4 only. The pickup point for 4X2 travellers has secure parking.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming in the pool 
  • Guided walks through the forest
  • Guided canoeing on Kosi Lakes
  • Boat trip on the lakes
  • Birding
  • Fishing in the Reserve
  • Day excursions to Kosi Bay Mouth
  • Snorkelling (limited equipment at lodge)
  • Swimming in the Indian Ocean
  • Turtle tracking - mid-Nov to mid-Jan
  • Tsonga fish traps


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Licensed


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Electricity from a generator

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • Limited cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Babysitting available
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km
  • Shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe
  • 24 hour security




Elephant Coast

KwaZulu Natal


On the eastern seaboard of South Africa, the wild country of the Elephant Coast presses up against the Indian Ocean in the east, Mozambique in the north and Zululand to the south and west. Here, the bright lights of the city are nowhere to be seen, replaced by night skies as unpolluted as nature created them.

The area was named for the elephants that once roamed here in great numbers, hunted for their tusks until they had all but disappeared. Luckily this has been turned around and elephants can once again be seen in many of the region’s game reserves, along with the rest of the Big 5.

Made up of extensive commercial farms, private game farms and government game reserves, the Elephant Coast is still relatively untouched by modernity. It incorporates vast expanses of wilderness, including an internationally renowned World Heritage Site, the 328000ha Isimangaliso Wetland Park. It is also home to Africa’s oldest game reserve, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, founded in 1895.

The area is a must-visit for ecologically minded tourists; there is far more to see than just the two flagship reserves. Fortunate tourists can see the Big 5, scuba dive with whale sharks or manta rays, watch turtles laying their eggs, fish for tigerfish, and ride horses on the beach or through the bush. It’s a region that is rich in diversity.

Ndumo Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Reserve are both on the border with Mozambique and offer unique experiences for twitchers and pachyderm fans.

Tembe now boasts herds of elephants that are noted for their impressive tusks, and it’s one of the better places in South Africa to get good sightings and photographs of these animals.

Ndumo is best known for its birding. Species such as the narina trogon, palm-nut vulture and green twinspot can be seen in the forests of figs and other beautiful trees. Healthy populations of hippo and crocodile lurk in the pans and rivers.

KosiBay, a reserve protecting a series of shallow coastal lakes and all that lives in and around them, offers excellent fishing. There are also fascinating cultural and wildlife walks and birding opportunities. In season, one can watch turtles as they lay eggs or hatch from them.

Also on the coast is Sodwana Bay, yet another conservation area run by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. It’s a mecca for scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the world.

Sodwana holds beneath its waters coral reefs that are home to an estimated 1 200 fish species. These include the prehistoric coelacanth, as well as sharks and other fish.

Lake Sibaya is another attraction, although one that has failed to attain the popularity it deserves. The largest fresh-water lake in South Africa, Sibaya is home to thousands of waterbirds. Game is plentiful along its shores and crocodiles stalk its clear water.

The Jozini, or Pongolapoort, Dam offers a wonderful blend of sport fishing with game viewing. The river itself is also home to healthy populations of tigerfish.

Look out for

Isimangaliso Wetland Park – this World Heritage Site is amazingly diverse and deserves at least a few days of your time. Go for a boat cruise on the estuary, a game drive through the bush, and a hike along the shores of Lake St Lucia.

Sodwana Bay – take advantage of one of the world’s top scuba diving spots. Beginners can go on courses or snorkel; while more experienced divers have a number of reefs to choose from.

Birdwatching – the entire Elephant Coast is home to bountiful birdlife, although there are a few hot spots. The pans of Mkhuze Game Reserve play host to pelicans and all sorts of other birdlife. Over 420 bird species have been recorded in the riverine forest, woodland and savannahs of the park. Ndumo Game Reserve has an even better record, with more than 430 species recorded, the most for anywhere in South Africa. Beautiful, fever tree-lined pans are home to specials such as Pel’s fishing owl, broadbill and black egret.

Fishing – the Elephant Coast’s Jozini Dam is one of the few places in South Africa where anglers can try their luck at landing the tigerfish, one of the most ferocious, toothy fish in the world. If salt-water fishing is preferred, Kosi Bay is a popular and exceptional fishery, while deep-sea charters also operate from St Lucia.

Turtle tours – St Lucia is probably the best place in the country to go on an organised turtle watching tour. While sightings can’t be guaranteed, you have a good chance of seeing leatherback and loggerhead turtles laying eggs or hatching. Community guides at Kosi Bay also offer turtle watching tours that are very worthwhile.

Game view – the Elephant Coast is still home to a healthy population of big tuskers, especially in Tembe Elephant Park. A good sighting of these animals will stay with you for the rest of your life. The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is internationally famous for saving the white rhino from extinction, and it remains one of the best places in the world to view this docile behemoth. The rest of the Big 5 can also be seen here, along with many other interesting animals.

Hike – while some areas require a guide (especially the Big 5 parks), there are some exceptional walking trails on the Elephant Coast. Almost all game reserves will offer day trails, while a trail with a difference can be enjoyed at Kosi bay. Here you can wander around the Kosi Mouth estuary, inspecting the primitive fish traps and watching locals at work spearing their catch. 

When to go

To Do

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